Master thesis information

The student needs to contact a supervisor and to agree upon the topic of the thesis in due time (at least six months before the planned date of graduation – “seduta di laurea” in Italian; see more details below, admission to the defense).
It is recommended to write the thesis in the students’ host country and to contact early a second supervisor at home in order to make sure that requirements of both Universities involved are met.
Host university will send to home university the final grade of evaluation thesis. This grade will be necessary to make the final grade of the thesis in the home university.
Please make sure you adhere to locally defined timelines for the preparation of your thesis – these may differ across Double Degree universities and deviate from Pavia timing.
The same applies for objectives for, contents and format of the thesis.

Here below follow some general indications on how to write a thesis, which meets Pavia’s standards.

  • The thesis should present an original piece of theoretical and empirical work. The subject area is normally chosen by the student, discussed, and agreed upon with the supervisor (relatore) and must be coherent with the Master curriculum.
  • It is written individually.
  • The structure of the thesis is discussed with the supervisor; however, a general structure thesis begins with an index, followed by an introduction, a literature review, a methodology chapter, an empirical part (eg case study, survey and analysis of datasets) and a conclusion. The bibliography is complete and up-to-date.
  • Average n. of pages: 100;
  • Regarding MEFI theses based on developing economic/quantitative modelling, the n. of pages may deviate from average n. written above.
  • The work is checked for plagarism.

In some of the partner Universities, (i.e EM-Strasbourg Business School), or Universidad de Seville) the thesis takes the form of a case study (frequently based on internships) may be co-authored with colleagues and is less developed in theory terms, or in a brief work counts 6 credits (e.g. Seville). In these cases the thesis must be customized to Pavia standards, i.e. you will need to extend and deepen the work, and these adaptations must be agreed upon with your supervisor in Pavia (for more details please do not hesitate to contact prof.ssa Birgit Hagen, prof.ssa Claudia Tarantola or the administrative responsible of Double Degree Programme    Mr. Federico Franceschini).


Thesis grading system in Pavia

The grade is proposed by your first and second supervisor but is subject to a final decision by the defense committee at the end of the thesis discussion (seduta di laurea).  The rules for the evaluation of the thesis are the following:

  • 0 to 2 points – The student proposes a mere restatement of research on the subject. The thesis presents limitations in relation to the literature consulted, or the models or empirical findings
  • 3 to 4 points – The student exhibits the specific issue based on limited knowledge of the existing research on the subject. Organizes material adequately, work takes a proper language.
  • 5 points – The student offers a clear and orderly exposition of the subject of the thesis; demonstrates understanding of the literature; exhibits successfully models or empirical studies. is able to construct a coherent argument.
  • 6 or 7 points – The student, in addition to having read and correctly exposed the contents of the bibliography, or having adequately presented models or empirical research, has explored topics related to the subject of the work; can show/discuss the validity of connections.
  • more than 7 points, up to a maximum to be decided by the Department – The student demonstrates independent judgement, critical thinking skills and personal originality; develops in-depth aspects of the subject, discusses topics which need considerable effort in conceptual terms or in terms of the collection and processing of empirical material; knowledge of literature, modelling or empirical research on the subject is vast; in the discussion, is capable of showing interest and In this case, the supervisor must notify the President of the committee at least 15 days prior to the graduation session, requesting a third supervisor and providing the commission with a detailed report in order to justify the evaluation.

The points obtained in the discussion are added to your average grade once re-scaled on a scale of 110. To clarify the process here is an example: if your average grade is 27 in all your exams on a scale of 30 the average grade before the discussion is 99 – 27 divided 30 and multiplied by 110 – (please consider that laude adds 0.30 points to your average grade). If, after the discussion, you get 6 points, your final grade will be 105 (99+ 6) over 110. In order to be graduated with honours (laude) you need to obtain 113 points.


Admission to Master Thesis Examination (discussion, defense – “seduta di laurea”)

To be eligible for dissertation discussion, students must have passed all examinations required by the curriculum and the dissertation must be finalized and evaluated by the first supervisor. Students must provide a second supervisor with the first supervisor’s evaluation at least 15 days prior to the start of the graduate session in which the student intends to present, or the student will not be admitted to the session.

After completing the Questionario Laureandi and accessing to your Reserved Area, it is possible to fill out the Graduation Request within the deadline decided by your Department/Faculty.

Submission of the Graduation Request:

  • Select the voice “Conseguimento titolo” in your Reserved Area;
  • Fill out all the pages that you see. At the end of the procedure, print and sign the graduation’s request paper;
  • Go back to the Home page and upload the scan of the Request. You can do it through the  ‘Allega domanda conseguimento titolo’ button;
  • Complete the payments for the Graduation’s Admission in the “payments” section of your Reserved Area; 116,00 Euro (for the print of your old Diploma in parchment, if it be chosen,  and the 16 euro for the virtual duty stamp); if you don’t want to have the old diploma in parchment (100€) you have to pay only 16,00€ of stamp and fill the form of refusal of the old diploma in parchment, and send it to Segreteria Studenti.

Without these payments it will not be possible to validate your Graduation Request.

Submission of the thesis:

  • Indicate the final title of your thesis and its English translation
  • Indicate the name of your Supervisor and Co-Supervisors (if needed)
  • Fill out a brief abstract of the contents of your thesis, both in Italian and English
  • Upload the abstract file and the thesis file in pdf/A format (instructions about conversion). When the thesis is uploaded, the Supervisor will receive a notification, in order to proceed with the validation.

ATTENTION: within your Department/Faculty’s deadlines the final verson of your thesis must be uploaded only in the pdf/A format. Your Supervisor must validate it within 3 days.

Additional Departmental information

Those who are still in possession of the paper-based exams’ transcript, released during the immatriculation process, must submit or send it to the Students’ Affairs Office within the thesis submission’s deadline.

What to do if the Graduation’s Exams is delayed by the student
In case of a delay/postponment of the Graduation’s Exam, it is necessary to delete the Graduation’s Admission Request, within your Department/Faculty’s deadlines, accessing in your Reserved Area and using the specific function. Students are requested to send another Request for the Exam’s Session in which they want to Graduate. In this case, further payments will not be requested, except the 16 euro duty stamp’s virtual payment for the new Request.

Please check the timeline and requirements here: Master thesis’ guidelines